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Claire DeRosa / Wisconsin Watch

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You can read all of our coronavirus/COVID-19 coverage by signing up for our Wisconsin COVID-19 Update newsletter, and please consider becoming a member to support our nonprofit journalism. 

Life in Wisconsin has been transformed since March 12, when Gov. Tony Evers declared a Public Health Emergency to combat coronavirus. Businesses have shuttered, while public officials urge residents to stay at home. Today we highlight a story about one practice that has not completely stopped in recent weeks: Some hospitals continue to sue patients over medical debt, reports Bram Sable-Smith, a Wisconsin Public Radio fellow embedded in the Wisconsin Watch newsroom.

Top Stories

A sign indicates drive-thru COVID-19 testing availability at Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare in La Crosse on March 17, 2020.

‘You’ve been served’: Wisconsin hospitals sue patients over debt —  even during pandemic Wisconsin Public Radio/ Wisconsin Watch

Gov. Tony Evers to use National Guard members to work the polls amid massive shortage of workers Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Judge to hear arguments in voting cases, could make rulings on election Wisconsin State Journal

Wisconsin’s race to roll out more COVID-19 tests, despite shortages of ‘everything’ WisContext 

Tough choices amid COVID-19 pandemic, economic turmoil and rent coming due Wisconsin State Journal 

Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Joann, CBD shops closed by Grand Chute police Appleton Post-Crescent 

La Crosse area law enforcement sees few violators of Wisconsin’s ‘safer-at-home’ order La Crosse Tribune 

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Government updates

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“Even once the public health impacts are past us, which I hope is really soon, we are going to be dealing with the economic fallout of this for a year, if not more….In my mind, it’s extra important you fill that census out, so we can access as much money from the federal government as possible.”

Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, as quoted by The Cap Times.

Stats to note

A new Marquette Law School poll of registered voters in Wisconsin offers a range of data on how COVID-19 affects life and attitudes across the state. The poll, released Wednesday, found: 

  • Most voters — 76% — said they approved of Gov. Tony Evers’ handling of the coronavirus pandemic, while 17% said they disapproved. A majority, 51%, approved of President Donald Trump’s pandemic performance, while 46% disapproved. 
  • Most voters — 86% — approved of closing schools and businesses and restricting public gatherings in response to the coronavirus, while 10% disapproved.
  • A majority — 51% — strongly approved of legislation providing direct cash payments to people, while 28% somewhat approved, 9% somewhat disapproved and 6% strongly disapproved.
  • And 9% said they had lost a job or been laid off during the pandemic, while 21% said someone else in the family had lost employment, and 22% said their work hours had been reduced. 

Pollsters interviewed 813 registered voters over cell phone or landline March 24 to 29. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points. More details are here.

Resilient Wisconsin

People helping others and showing resilience during this time of anxiety. Send suggestions by tagging us on social media — @wisconsinwatch — or emailing us:

Window decorations offer recognition for essential workers, cheer during pandemic The Cap Times 

Researcher: we can reframe social distancing as an act of kindness Wisconsin Public Radio 

How four artists are flexing their creative muscles during COVID-19 Milwaukee Neighborhood News

These dogs are providing comfort and joy to the community Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Elkhorn Area Middle School shared this on Facebook:

Mike Justman of New Berlin, Wisconsin, tweeted this:

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The nonprofit Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism ( collaborates with Wisconsin Public Radio, PBS Wisconsin, other news media and the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication. All works created, published, posted or disseminated by the Center do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of UW-Madison or any of its affiliates.

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